Stress Contraction Test

Stress Contraction Test



What is the contraction stress test?

Contraction stress tests function to check whether the condition of the baby (fetus) remains healthy during oxygen reduction which usually occurs when contractions occur while you are working. This test monitors the fetal heart rate. This test is done when the gestational age is 34 weeks or more.

During uterine contractions, blood supply and oxygen are given to your baby in a short time. This is not a problem for most babies. However, the heart rate in some babies is likely to decrease. This change in heart rate can be seen on an external fetal monitoring device.

During a contraction stress test, the hormone oxytocin is injected into you through a vein (intravenously, or IV) to trigger a labor contraction. You may also be asked to massage your nipple area to remove oxytocin. If your baby's heart rate decelerates in a certain pattern rather than accelerating after a contraction, maybe your baby has a problem with normal labor.

Contraction stress tests are usually performed if you undergo an abnormal nonstress test or biophysical profile. A biophysical profile uses ultrasound when a nonstress test is performed to determine the characteristics of your baby. There may be more than one contraction when the test is done.

When should I undergo a contraction stress test?

Contraction stress tests are performed to check:

  • whether your baby stays healthy during the oxygen reduction that appears when you are working
  • whether the placenta is healthy and has a good effect on your baby

Contraction stress tests may also be performed if the results of a nonstress test or biophysical profile are not normal.

Prevention & amp; warning

What should I know before undergoing a contraction stress test?

Contraction stress tests may show a decrease when your baby doesn't have a problem. This result is called false-positive result (false positive result). For some reason, contraction stress tests are rarely done now. In most cases, practitioners can review babies more quickly and safely by testing biophysical profiles during nonstress tests, or both. Some doctors may do biophysical profiles or dopple ultrasound tests rather than contraction stress tests.


What should I do before undergoing a contraction stress test?

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 to 8 hours before the test is done. Empty your bladder before the test. If you smoke, you must stop smoking 2 hours before the test is done, because smoking can cause activity and the baby's heart rate to decline. You are asked to sign a file stating that you understand the risks that can occur and agree to the terms.

Talk to your doctor about all things related to the test, such as the risk, how the test was done, and the results of the test.

What is the contraction stress test process?

You will be asked not to eat or drink anything 6 to 8 hours before the test, because sometimes this test can proceed to emergency caesarean section (you should empty your bladder and urinate quickly) before the test). When the test is done, you are asked to lie on your left side. A technician will wrap two tools in your stomach: one to monitor the baby's heartbeat; and others to record contractions in the uterus. The machine records the baby's contractions and heart rate on two different graphs. The test is done until there are three contractions in 10 minutes, usually occurring for 40 to 60 seconds. This test can occur for 2 hours. You may not feel a contraction or maybe just feel cramps like during menstruation, will not induce labor.

If no contractions occur during the first 15 minutes, the practitioner might try to give synthetic oxytocin (pitocin) in small doses through IV to stimulate the nipple, removing natural oxytocin.

What should I do after undergoing a contraction stress test?

After the test, you will usually be monitored until no more contractions or contractions decrease as before before the test is done. This contraction stress test may occur for 2 hours.

Explanation of Test Results

What do the test results mean?

The test results explain the health condition of your baby for a week. This test may have to be done more than once during pregnancy.

Contraction stress test Normal:

Your baby's heart rate remains and gets weaker after contraction.

Note : There is a possibility that your baby will experience deceleration (weakening heart rate), but this condition will not last long, so it is not a serious problem.

If a 10-minute contraction of your nipple stimulation or an oxytocin and deceleration infusion does not occur late, the baby's heart rate is expected to be controlled.


Baby's heart rate weakens (decelerates) and remains weak after contraction. This occurs during mid contraction.

Slow contractions may mean that there is a problem with your baby.

What affects the test results?

Some reasons that you cannot do this test, or the test results may be inaccurate, including:

  • problem in a previous pregnancy, such as a vertical incision. This test should also not be done if you have twins or more, or if you are prescribed sulfate during pregnancy.
  • Have uterine surgery. Strong contractions can cause the uterus to tear
  • if you smoke
  • movement in infants during the test because it is very difficult to record the heart rate and contraction of the baby

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


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